WRL Atlas_South Korea_Jeju Batdam

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제주밭담 ‘Batdam’, a unique rural landscape of Jeju Island, Korea

Sung, Jong-Sang*ㆍKang, Seung-Jin**ㆍLim, Jung-Eon***

Graduate School of Environmental Studies Seoul National University, Korea 2014.10 * Professor, Graduate School of Environment Studies, Seoul National University ** Ph.D. Research Fellow, Jeju Development Institute ***Ph.D. Researcher, Environmental Planning Institute, Seoul National University Source : Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Jeju Development Institute(2014) Jeju Batdam Agricultural system work book

Contents Ⅰ. Introduction ··········································································································· 2 Batdam, Supporting Jeju Agriculture Agricultural Origin, and Rocks and Wind Origin of Batdam Agricultural System Formation Process of Batdam Agricultural System Length of Jeju Batdam Diverse Values of Jeju Batdam

Ⅱ. Structure and Patterns of Jeju Batdam ···················································· 9 Jeju Batdam Agricultural system, Lasting Thousand Years Strength That Support Jeju Batdam Agricultural System Patterns of Jeju Batdam Agricultural System

Ⅲ. Stone Cultures & Agricultural Cultures ··············································· 12 Stone Cultures of Jeju Agricultural Cultures in Jeju

Ⅳ. ‘Old Future’ through Jeju Batdam Agricultural system····························· 15

Ⅰ. Introduction

Batdam, a Long Lasting Support Element of Jeju Agriculture There existed an island at the Southern part of Korean peninsula, 126° 08’~126° 58’E, 33° 06’~34° 00’N. The island was still asleep in a shallow ocean about two million years ago. Then,



day, on

hot the

magma ocean





throughout the weak strata causing powerful explosions. The prelude of an island birth started






seemed like an eternity, there were numbers of volcanic edifices and wide range of lava plateau from repeated volcanic activities. Lava domes were created by lava extrusions from peaks of volcanic edifices, 160,000 years ago. 25,000 years ago, one more volcanic activity added a crater in the middle of the island, forming Mt,

Halla to embrace the entire island. The sea-born island was not always an island. Through glacial epoch and interglacial period, the different sea level sometimes isolated the island only to be surround by ocean or connected the island to a continent. It was then about 18,000 years ago after last glacial epoch when Jeju finally became an independent island with very similar sea levels currently seen today. Occasional volcanic activities still continued, and additional hydro-volcanic activities took places in the island’s eastern and western coastlines. It is fair to say the island was born about two million years ago and its current look was completed about five thousand years ago. The nation of stone and wind, Jeju has risen out from the middle of


The 19th Century 광여도(廣輿圖, Kwangyeodo) 제주목(濟州牧, Jejumok), 규장각(Kyujanggak Institute For Korea Studies)

Agricultural Origin, and Rocks and Wind Agriculture for food purpose began during Tamna Dynasty (A.D.1~1105) in Jeju Island. The prehistoric remains indicate that fishing and agricultural activities began on the island in early stage of Tamna Dynasty. Early period of island’s agriculture include setting down in








cultivation for rotational farming near residences. Tiled-soil in early farming days was secured around settler’s resident area of rich and non-volcanic ash soil in the coastal area.

Jeju Island is located at the southernmost part of Korean Peninsula, joining the ocean. Joining the ocean also means more frequent and strong winds. The frequency and size of winds toward the island hold different scale against winds in the inland sea, including

Donghae (the East Sea) and Seohae (the West Sea). Total number of days with storm over

10m/sec speed is 117 day/year. 6m/sec speed wind is bearable for crop growth while winds over 7-8m/sec speed may cause deterrent factors for autumn leaf development in winter, over production in summer and carbon dioxide assimilations. Agriculture also suffers from insufficient number of windy days for crop growth and the situations worsen in winter compare to other regions. A few typhoons between August and September frequently cause agricultural disasters and island life was constrained to protect it against the strong winds inward.

Origin of Batdam Agricultural System Island Jeju may be referred as ‘Country of Rocks’ and rocks in Jeju became an object to overcome but a resource for island life at the same time. Enormous stone cultures exist on the island. If we take a look at Doldam (stone fence) alone, ‘Wondam (stone net)’ probably is the first utilization of rock as one of resources. The skill used in the primitive stone net were also used during the cave period. Walls of Jeju’s traditional thatched roof house were built with rocks and followed by Wuldam (rock fence) and Olletdam stone fence at house gate. Islanders utilized abundant nearby rocks as their construction materials and built

Doldam to prevent strong winds inward. The wisdom to build Doldam to prevent strong wind became possible with their abundant resource





material. Islanders obtained their skills, utilizing the easy and abundant resource rock





Batdam agricultural system represents a clearly different case against the integral dwelling construction, considering labor and dwelling sizes at that time. It never is an easy idea to fence around a piece of farmland with rocks.

Batdam agricultural system wouldn’t have been developed. If Batdam agricultural system was found to increase

their size of yield only, Batdam agricultural system wouldn’t have had its purpose. Passion and love stay much closer to us than scientific understanding and theories. For that background, Batdam agricultural system marked such revolution for Jeju’s agriculture as a whole. By building Batdam agricultural system, everlasting winds were blocked, soil protection helped crop growth and each farmer’s yield improved right away. We still can see the revolution of Jeju’s agriculture among numberless amount of Batdam agricultural systems. We have learned

Batdam agricultural system was the best alternative to maintain the natural fertile soil and protect the top soil as well as to protect soil from erosion. Batdam agricultural system serves its purpose far beyond being a border from neighbors but a cultural asset, reflecting ancestors’ wisdom and will.

Formation Process of Batdam Agricultural System

Batdam agricultural system was built by an individual or a small family. It takes much less labor, to pile around rather than moving them a far-distanced place from the farm. For that reason, it’s easy to see Jeju Batdam agricultural system holds a much longer history. The first innovation was Jeju Judge Kim Gu’s order in year 1234 to build stone fence for border lines. It became the background for the equal expansions of Batdam agricultural system all over Jeju Island. Batdam , at the beginning, was built to block off the incoming winds in farm fields, but later added an additional purpose. To repeat it one more time, formation of Batdam agricultural system settled in mid-Goryeo dynasty, but the first origination extends far before that time. After sometime, cattle graze was delivered per village and Batdam agricultural system protected tilled-soil from cattle’s INS & outs of their farmlands. Cattle may go in any farmland and eat off crop, ruining the yearlong efforts for good yield. There were frequent quarrels between farmers and ranchers and Batdam agricultural system’s important role was to protect their farming from cattle. Cultivation was granted in ranches in 19 C., and Batdam agricultural system was built around the hilly areas. In Jatseong area without ranch, Batdam agricultural system served as border line function between farmlands. Form of land possession also explains the background of Batdam agricultural system development throughout the entire island. In mid 1900s, average family size in Korea was recorded 5.4persons/family while 4.2 persons in Jeju. The average farmland possession in

Jeollanamdo Province was 12,000㎡ while 22,000㎡ in Jeju. The statistic doesn’t necessarily indicate the islanders were richer or greedier. Considering Jeju’s malnutrition-soil-condition, Jeju farmers needed bigger farmlands to meet their minimum livelihood. Farmers didn’t cultivate, utilizing all possessed farmlands at once. After cultivation once, the land needed to rest to boost its energy level. The unavoidable cause to expand their size of farmland also was the very background that Batdam agricultural system expanded.

Length of Jeju Batdam Batdam agricultural system created a big piece of mosaic art work in Jeju field through long history of Batdam agricultural system settlement. So how long would the total length of Batdam agricultural system be? Of course, a total inspection can confirm the exact distance but there has been a study, sampling a few farmland areas. The study estimates the total distance of

Jeju Batdam agricultural system to be 22,108㎞. 22,108㎞! Considering circumference of the earth is around 40,000㎞, Jeju Batdam agricultural system is to take the half of that. It is also referred as ‘Heuk-young-mal-li,’ 4,000㎞ Black Dragon’. Endless black basalt rocks in Jeju Batdam agricultural system floating in curves earned its nickname. Mali (4,000㎞) indicates the endless distance, reflecting farmers’ hard work and sweats. Jeju Batdam agricultural system in a big picture form a distance, holds Jeju ancestors’ wisdom and efforts into the agricultural system.

Diverse Values of Jeju Batdam Jeju Batdam agricultural system has held a very core function for Jeju’s dry field agricultural condition. Jeju Batdam agricultural system filters through strong winds for better crop cultivation and eased top soil losses from winds and rains, supporting Jeju’s agriculture. Such functions still continue, and Jeju Batdam agricultural system will be carried down to future generations as long as agriculture lasts in Jeju. Jeju Batdam agricultural system signifies its agricultural values and forms cultural landscape. Jeju Island frequently is referred for its harmonization among dots, lines and sides and some people identify Jeju’s true beauty lies within its smooth curves. Jeju Batdam agricultural system represents Jeju’s beauty in its winding paths of it’s curves. Jeju Batdam agricultural system in black color mixes well and create art works with green crops or those bright seasonal flowers, including rape blossoms. Should black Jeju Batdam agricultural system be covered by white snow, the exquisite harmony offers another admiration over. The one and only beautiful landscape is created in

Jeju by the basalt Jeju Batdam agricultural system. It also signifies its value for biodiversity conservation aspect. Jeju Batdam agricultural system in a belt shape from coasts to hilly sides of the Island have prevented some improper developments, preserving biodiversity of the


Jeju Batdam agricultural system has great significance in terms of social and cultural aspects. It supported islanders’ survival while being a trace of mankind’s survival against barren environments. As one of the unique heritage, reflecting coexistence between mankind and nature, it offers Jeju people’s pioneer spirit and wisdom. It also will function as the core cord for Jeju tourism in future. It can be a core theme for cultural tourism, agri-tourism and onsite experience tourism. The entangled Jeju Batdam agricultural system in continuous curves would hold itself but with one spot collapsing the whole fence may fall as a result. It always had to stay as one unit, and that spirit resembles Jeju people’s spirit, too

Ⅱ. Structure and Patterns of Jeju Batdam

Jeju Batdam Agricultural system, Lasting Thousand Years What would be the distinct features of Batdam agricultural system? The true beauty of Jeju

Batdam agricultural system may be the reflection of Jeju people’s wisdom through its exterior beauty. Batdam agricultural system has set boundaries of ownership and also has been a

cultural production, revealing ancestors’ will and wisdom to protect their crop and soil.

Jeju Batdam has been constructed by individuals or family members and didn’t necessarily require of a master craftsman to interlock and pile the rocks. It holds the simplest structure and is simple to restore. That doesn’t mean anybody can build and maintain it. Various experiences and long time learning is required to train an expert for Jeju Batdam agricultural system building. Skills to place base rock, skills to pile rocks in stagger angle and skills to locate right angle to push down and pile a rock in the right place can only come from enough experiences. Jeju Batdam agricultural system construction requires highly trained technique from real time experiences to pile rocks in interlocking positions with certain wholes between and with balancing wind flow. Rock sizes for Jeju Batdam agricultural system include big, small, tall, flat, angulated and round. Each piece of rocks can have its own function. Jeju Batdam in big size rocks may hold weight while missing an interlocking piece. And the big size rock may not survive strong winds with larger exposure to wind. However, combination of big and small rocks may serve its interlocking position and be a strong fence. Even one side of Jeju Batdam agricultural system falls, no entire fence will collapse. The fallen part of it can be fixed easily and that is one of structural features of Batdam agricultural system.

Strength That Support Jeju Batdam Agricultural System Different shapes of rock in Jeju Batdam agricultural system may be reflected according to its shape being exposed to. Streamlined shape rocks may face less strength from wind. That doesn’t explain how Jeju Batdam agricultural system in hilly sides survived all these years. We can think about frictional force. Basalt rocks in it may hold air holes. So the contact surface is very rough. Jeju Batdam agricultural system is built, placing an upper rock between two lower rocks. The reduction of normal force can reduce frictional force. The effected force in lower rocks was dispersed in this direction by upper rocks. Gaps, rocks surface and relation with wind speed in it is another main factor to hold itself.

The wind passes much faster in gaps of Jeju Batdam agricultural system than nearby air, causing lower pressure, and difference force effect through the direction of gaps. The force to press rocks toward gaps and the vertical force at surfaces of rocks can increase normalforce coefficient, increasing frictional force. The key factors for loose Jeju Batdam agricultural system to stay strong against winds include rock shape, frictional force of rocks and holes between rocks. The structure of Jeju Batdam agricultural system is streamlined with good air resistance and higher frictional force form basalt rocks with air holes. Unlike other fences, enormous holes allowing easy air passes with reduced resistance, Jeju Batdam can hold itself better. This can explain the secret for Jeju Batdam agricultural system’s long survival.

Patterns of Jeju Batdam Agricultural System

1. 잣담 : 잣길/Jatdam or Jatgil : Farmers used to walk on the fence, Jatgil that is a thoughtful way of helping neighbors having land with no roads. 2. 머들/Meodeul : piled-up stones during the cultivation 3. 올레와 우영팟/Olle (entrance of a village) and

Soils thru various periods of volcanic

Uyeongpat (a vegetable garden near a house surrounded by Batdam)

activities and climate differences per distinctive




various agricultural environments in

Jeju. Jeju soil can be separated into two types, including non-volcanic-ash-soil in northwestern coasts of island and volcanic-ash-soil- in northeast and hilly side of island. Mt. Halla and Kurusio Sea Current cause climate differences between east to west and south to north of island.

Jeju’s Batdam agricultural system differ from each region of island for that reason. It is divided per its structure into 4 types, including Oidam, Jeopdam, Jatdam and Japgupdam.

Oidam is most common and built in single-line. Jeopdam means double layered Jeju Batdam agricultural system, and found in farmlands in rocker fields. Jatdam or Jatbaekdam is built as a wider scale of castle fence, and this type was built during continuous digging of rocks from farmlands. Jatdam also allowed passes of neighboring farmers without a path to his farmland from the main road, reflecting ancestors’ compassion and care for others. The unique Japgutdam holds smaller rocks at bottom and bigger ones on top. But again it is difficult to identify all Jeju Batdam agricultural system into these categories only for each of it reflects various features of its location. Jeju Batdam agricultural system around Seoldeok or Bille shows good example of wise utilization of environment. Some Jeju Batdam agricultural systems in hilly areas are utilized for border purpose only. It represents the long survival of Jeju agriculture against barren environments and changes.

â…˘. Stone Cultures & Agricultural Cultures

Stone Cultures of Jeju

Stone has been one of most important and critical resources for mankind on planet earth. Stone was the most used resource through Old Stone Age, New Stone Age then expanded with much wider scope of usage post historical Period. This situation applies same in Korea and Jeju, too. Stone was included in fortresses, constructions, weapons and living tools from the epoch of the three Kingdoms, and stone was an inevitable resource for economic activities, including agriculture, fishery and ranching. It is fair to estimate people’s life was impossible without stone resource before Jeju entered modern period. It is natural production of wisdom to utilize stone resource in the totally isolated marginal island Jeju. Fortunately, island Jeju was blessed with enormous amount of rocks from volcanic activities. Life in barren environment with insufficient resources was improved by stone resource. The fundamental background for advanced stone cultures of Jeju lies in clear understanding of barren environment together with wisdom of Jeju ancestors.

Ancestors of Jeju utilize

stones for various causes like construction, producing, life and games, including Sandam,

Wondam, Wuldam, Olletdam, Seongdam, Dongjaseok, Dolhareubang, Bulpand, banga and Deumdol.

Agricultural Cultures in Jeju

One of Jeju culture called Suneulem allows labor exchange for hard work. Jeju’s barren agricultural environment didn’t allow farming without the structure of community spirit. The hardest tasks of 3 to 4 times of weeding per season required most hands.


weeding as labor exchange and help still continues in Jeju. Besides the labor exchange for farming, thatched roof construction and family occasions are handled with help of neighbors and returning is offered when a same case occurs with neighbors. These culture continued in consideration for neighbors, and the farmer at the road side harvest first then inner farmland farmer would go through the harvested farmland to harvest his. Jatkil show such consideration for neighbors. Different soil fertility created cultural differences. Soil fertility effects agricultural productivity and life style. Soil fertility has influenced Jeju’s culture and custom variously

and they are memorial service style, melody of work song, historic sites and distribution of dolmen, Sanpa (sawing) and furrow cultivation. Bunjitgeori jesa (memorial service) was practiced in the rich dark brown non-volcanic-ash-soil while eldest son hosted memorial services in volcanic-ash-soil area. Western area with richer soil handled rice and barley cultivation and inherited divided land and duty of memorial services. But in eastern part with volcanic-ash-soil, land share couldn’t allow self-support of food and only eldest son inherited family land and duty of memorial service as a consequence Distribution of historic sites and dolmen also depends on soil fertility. Historic sites and dolmen are only found in non-volcanic-ash-soil, indicating dwellings were settled around richer soil coast areas from prehistoric period.

Work song melody shows differences, too. ‘Weeding song’ in volcanic-ash-soil area is sad and include Jin(long)-sa-daet-so-ri of long shamanistic chorus while Jjol-leun(short)-sa-daet-so-ri was sang in richer non- volcanic-ash-soil area. Sawing methods show differences per soil features and regions. For rain can easily ruin the well-made furrows in volcanic-ash-soil area, sprinkle

sawing is practiced while furrow sawing fashion was practiced in non- volcanic-ash-soil area. Sawing in Jeju also holds further significance. All sawing is done with sprinkling sawing except bug wheat with sawing and spot sawing. Distance between nursery plants is different per characteristics of each plant, and the distance is usually determined during first weeding. Under developed plants are taken out thru weeding. Farmer can control the distance between sprouts by transferring sprouted nursery plant to the area with less sprouting. It was the last resort to select out strong plant from high density sprinkle sawing in the poor soil condition. Farmlands in hilly areas include Moneulpot (bugwheat field), Saewat (DDeuibat) for thatched roofs. Mujangjeon in the hilly area means farmland without stone fences. Ranching and farming have been developed in Jeju together. Strength of horse and cow were required to ship heavy-farm produce and plowing. Ranching is the companion of agriculture in Jeju. Horses and cows provided labor forces, manure and quality food during the undernourishment era. Horses and cows were blocked off from field-breaking with Jeju Batdam agricultural system built in Dambat but field-breaking was a big worry in Mujangjeon area with no fence built. Kemaegi community managing party per district or village level was formed as a result. ‘Ke’ indicates a district of field or farmland in the district while ‘Maegi’ is a Jeju dialect for collection. Manager Gamgwan manages each Ke unit. Kemaegi culture lasted till 1970s around villages in hilly sides and

Gosan-ri in Hangyoung-meon where rice farming is practiced, and that is one distinctive agricultural culture for areas without Batdam agricultural system.

‘Old Future’ through Jeju Batdam Agricultural System

The life force of Jeju Batdam agricultural system is still ongoing with agricultural activities. Horses and cows were grazed in mountains and fields up until 1960s, and selfsupport agriculture with barley, millet and sweet potato is still active utilizing cattle. With that background, Jeju Batdam agricultural system has changed its looks a great deal in recent days. The speedy changes took place with mechanization of agriculture, introduction of scientific farming, changes of cultivation crops in 1970s, urbanization and development of stone processing techniques. Mechanization of agriculture and introduction of scientific farming reduced gradually the functions and benefits of Jeju Batdam agricultural system. Its curved shape makes it harder to adapt the machine usage. A few areas readjusted the farmlands. Unstandardized farmlands were readjusted, and Jeju Batdam were removed for practical machine uses. The increase of green house cultivation also reduced the role of it, only left it as a border.

해신당(Haesindang: shrine of the sea god)과 밭담(Jeju Batdam)

원(Won (or Wondam): fishing facility of stones)

불턱(Bulteok: a dressing place for Jomnyeo(Haenyeo), female diver

Beginning of citrus cultivation in 1960s leaded the unavoidable changes to Jeju Batdam agriculture system. The new citrus fields were formed in the existing pasture or farmlands of barley and sweet potatoes. Citrus became the main agricultural product of Jeju in 1970s, changing Jeju Batdam agricultural system to some extent. Strong winds of Jeju needed to be

blocked off for successful citrus cultivation. The average height of stone fences became higher and stone masons in Seogwipo region were busy, meeting the demand of the new type of stone walls. However, it was not easy work to build the stone fence much higher to fit for the wind-breaking purpose. That’s why cedar trees were planted around stone fences, forming the better wind belts. And with the appearance of the newest artificial wind-break facility, the height of stone fence became lower again. Urbanization also has changed images of Jeju Batdam seriously. Various urban facilities were built in rural areas. Roads around cities removed stone fences and blocked off the ties of Jeju Batdam agricultural system with rural areas. Majority of Jeju Batdam agricultural system is still survived now. However, the resent stone fences around roads are built by stone masons in a high density design unlike Jeju Batdam agricultural system with many holes. Technical advancement in recent 30~40 years and changes in Jeju agriculture have effected Jeju Batdam agricultural system a great deal. However, it still represents Jeju’s cultural landscapes. And boundary stone fences still continue its role as a valued long lasting cultural heritage.

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